BUSINESSES in central Bournemouth are currently without power following a fire at a substation.

It is the latest in a series of outages affecting the town.

The cut, which started at around 12.15pm, has affected around 200 properties in the area of Richmond Hill, Bourne Avenue and Durrant Road including the Bournemouth Echo building, and the Norfolk Hotel.

Firefighters from Redhill Park and Springbourne were called to alarms sounding in Yelverton Road at around 12.20pm, and found smoke coming from a substation building.

Watch manager Terry Brokeshire said: "When we attended we found light smoke percolating through the door of a building belonging to SSE.

"With the assistance of their engineers we ventilated the building and established there was a fault, which has caused the local power outage."

An engineer at the scene said there had been a fault with underground cabling.

A spokesman for SSE said at 1pm that engineers had just arrived at the Westbourne substation and were investigating the problem.

"The power will hopefully be restored as soon as possible," she said.

"We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience."

Power is currently estimated not expected to be restored until late this evening.